I met with Director of the Public Realm Elyse Parker and Councillor Anna Bailao on Saturday.  First, Elyse Parker let us know that she had seen the paper work for the south side (the side removed), and that I had been paid to do the south side.  Both she and Councillor Bailao felt the city had acted hastily in removing the mural.  To be completely fair to the city, the finished mural did deviate from the drawings I had submitted, although I was in no way told that the I could not refine my design.  We all felt there was a possibility for a teaching moment here, as I was told the city does not have a list of what murals are legal or paid for by the city.  Elyse Parker made the excellent suggestion of the establishing of a database of  city sponsored mural art.

Then to the sticky question of what is to happen to the wall.  The city invited me to paint a mural there, paid me to do it and has now admitted that they made a mistake in removing it.  It seems to me that a simple solution is to let me paint the mural back.  But then enters the question does a mural about the integrity of of our free wheeling financial system cross the line into the realm of “political art”, an art form banned on city property I am told.

That question I will leave up to Councillor Bailao and Director of the Public Realm Elyse Parker, both of whom so far have been excellent to deal with, and very good natured.  They have told me they will get back to me shortly about what is to happen to the wall.

If you have any opinions on this feel free to share them with the Councillor or with City Hall.

And once again I want to thank all of the people who have shown me so much support, it is truly humbling.  Just four months ago I was almost dead, what a wild ride!!!

Thank you everyone, even those who have been angered by me and my mural, I love the passion.

Joel RIchardson

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2 Responses to A Learning Moment

  1. Jason says:

    Joel it is good to hear that the reps for the city are being honest and seemingly open about getting this issue resolved and figuring out how to learn from the mistake and make changes. It is not often in this day and age that people take responsibility so it is refreshing and commendable. Good luck with it all!

  2. Lenora says:

    So much for free speech…
    Keep up the great work Joel.
    I’m glad they chose you to mess with.

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